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Description Key - Preparation

  1. Familiarization with Program Being Described
  2. Voicer Considerations

Familiarization with Program Being Described

  • When provided, review the curricular goals or learning outcomes addressed in the particular program, noting the general grade level(s) of the intended audience. However, do not make broad assumptions about the audience's comprehension and level of concept development.
  • Become completely familiar with the program to pick up key visual cues that a viewer with a visual impairment may miss. One way to do this is by listening to the program audio without watching the video, making note of unclear or confusing areas.
  • Research the subject and related terminology to ensure accurate definitions and clear descriptions.
  • Focus on the intended curricular objectives for each program.
    • For an instructional production, it is important to describe the sequence of activities first.
    • For a dramatic production, include elements such as style, setting, focus, period, dress, facial features, objects, and aesthetics.
    • When time permits, describe additional details that aid in the comprehension and appreciation of the production.
  • Decide whether to use expanded description after viewing the program.
  • Note: Expanded description is only an option for pre-recorded programs, since live events and broadcasts cannot be "paused" to allow more detailed description.

Voicer Considerations

  • Prepare fully and practice voicing the description ahead of time before recording.
  • Choose voice talents whose style and delivery (voice, pitch, and timbre) are distinguishable from other voices in a production without being unnecessarily distracting.
  • Description voicers should match the style, tone, and pace throughout the program that is being described.
  • Note: To develop good description, the professional voice talent should be trained in voice techniques for description.
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Tags: description-key